As a marketer, my job is to connect audiences with what they are looking for. If I do my job well, I connect what audiences are looking for with a company that will fulfill that. There are certainly challenges with finding that audience. And sometimes challenges with companies to realize that they have a specific audience and how best to reach them.

I believe that better data and more attention to customer progression will unlock audiences for any company. This is especially true within B2B where there are perennial challenges in finding new customers as well as progressing deals for prospects.

What is “data”, in this case?

Way back when I started my career in marketing the term “data” was synonymous with tracking and reporting. How many web visits? How many clicked on the latest ad campaign? It was a fuzzy science to fully connect trackable activities of a user with revenue…and perhaps that is one reason that marketing has had trust issues within companies.


Back in the day we even used things like “view-throughs” as a KPI. If someone saw an ad and converted at a later point without clicking or anything, we would take credit. Not exactly wrong but definitely not right… more of a brand play and should have been reported as a brand metric and not a demand/revenue metric.

Quick tangent of B2B vs B2C

Within B2C, the user is the audience with the buying power. They can look at ads, do marketing activities, then convert. These actions could be tracked and attributed directly to the sale.

Within B2B, the user may not have the buying power since the company is the customer.. This process could take months to years and there could be multiple users/ people interacting on behalf of a company. Attribution is trickier and so is understanding that you are speaking to individuals with roles within a company who is the customer.

Expansion of data for B2B

Thankfully, there has been a lot of growth in this area in the last 10+ years for B2B data. I look within three categories of how to frame data and activities:

Going after and enriching customers

When a customer interacts with your company

Behaviors and empirical data connected into action


This is where things get interesting. Part of the “unlocking” of audiences is to discover audiences but also how to reach and connect with them in the best way during the sales process. I would classify both activities as being Proactive.

  • Intent data: What users from an account do that is trackable outside of your ecosystem that indicates they may be warming up to your solutions.
  • Account data: Connecting a user to an account (more challenging than it may seem).
  • Data enrichment: For sales and marketing, adding from a small input (i.e. email, or account name), to get more info to help the sales process.
  • Account-Based Marketing (ABM): Taking the above into consideration as you shift your marketing and CRM to focus on account progression rather than leads and lead progression.


Let’s start with Reactive since that may seem more familiar with traditionally tracked things. Users are coming into your earned (social), owned (web), or paid media ecosystems. Trackable things like views, clicks, form-fills, etc. Tool examples: Google Analytics, Adobe Analytics


This one is often discounted/ignored. You can know about users/accounts all day long but cannot do much coordinated action unless you centralize your profiles in a way that can then deliver action. Tool examples: 6Sense, Zoominfo, Bombora, Clearbit

  • Empirical data: The who, what, of account and user data
  • Behavioral data: Data discovered through action
  • Segments: Who you are going after and/or how to bucket
  • Delivery: What channels/systems are you delivering these profiles/segments to in order to show a distinct experience.

Tool Examples: Adobe Audience Manager, BlueKai, Loteme Spherical Platform

Individuals (more than one) within a company
Buying Committee (few to 20+)
Immediate to soon
Months to years
Easily trackable to the sale
Challenging to connect every user/activity to the sale


Unlocking your audience is ironically all about them. It starts as customers research, attend events, click on things…then it leads to a solution. That solution could be what you offer. Final questions you should consider:

  • Who is your audience(s) and what are they looking to solve exactly?
  • How are you tracking all marketing/sales activities?
  • What do you know about those that have not filled out a form?
  • How are marketing and sales combining efforts in such things to collectively progress?
Photo of Jeremy Wold

With 20+ years in marketing, product, and design/dev, Jeremy has helped lead the connection between concept and end product. His passion is for users and how to connect them to their passions.

This article appeared in the Fall/Winter 2023 issue of the Anchor & Alpine Magazine.